It seems so silly that a dog would be afraid of their own food bowl, but there are actually a lot of reasons as to why this could be.
Why Is My Dog Afraid Of The Food Bowl?
Your dog is probably scared of their food bowl because there is something they don’t understand about it. It can be as simple as the reflection in a metal bowl, shape of the bowl, material of the bowl that they have an allergic reaction to or a simple case of a bowl moving around 🙂 They will learn in time as long as you’re kind and patient with them.
Why does my dog Rather Eat off the Floor than Out of a Bowl?
Dogs can be such finicky creatures, sometimes it’s hard to know why they do what they do.
This could be for a variety of reasons, most likely it’s because the food bowl is contristing your dog from eating the way they want to.
Whether real or perceived the dog may feel that the food bowl is too close to their face, meaning that they aren’t able to properly chow down.
It could also be that whatever bowl you are currently using for your dog’s food is causing it to taste strange to them.
Why Is My Dog Suddenly Afraid Of The Food Bowl [X? Reasons]?
There are many reasons that a dog can be afraid of their food bowl, here are some of the ones that I have seen:
- They have had a recent bad experience with them. – This is the number one thing that can cause sudden fear in dogs, for instance, if the food bowl fell off of something and hit your dog by accident, that would absolutely cause a sudden spike in fear around food bowls.
- The food bowl is loud/noisy. – Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than we do so if you have a metal or other loud bowl, even if you don’t think it is that loud, the sound could be scaring your dog.
- They can see their reflection in the bowl. – If you have a metal bowl (or a very shiny plastic one) It is a possibility that your dog is seeing their own reflection in the bowl and that is what is causing them to become frightened.
- Pain. – It may not be fear at all, it could be neck or back pain that is making your dog resistant to eating out of their food bowl, trying putting their food bowl up on a stand so it’s easier to reach.
- Their eyesight has gotten poor recently. – If their eyesight is on the decline, it’s possible that they don’t entirely recognise their food bowl anymore, and that is what has caused this sudden onset fear.
- You have relocated their food bowl. – If your dog is very set in a routine and doesn’t like change, if you have relocated their food bowl it can cause a lot of anxiety for your dog.
- The food bowl smells different. – In the same vein as the last reason, if you have recently washed the food bowl and now it smells different, they may not even recognise it as their food bowl and that could be the cause of their sudden fear.
- They see the food bowl as a threat. – If they aren’t recognising the object as their food bowl, they could see it as a threat and that would be why they are afraid of it.
- They have a phobia of food. – It is possible that it is not even the food bowl at all, but actually the food. While rare it is possible for dogs (and most animals really) to have an inherent fear of food.
- Your dog is just a fearful dog in general. – If all other reasons on this list don’t seem to quite fit, maybe it’s time to consider that your dog is just very scared of most things, not just their food bowl.
why does my puppy run away from the food bowl?
When they are only little pups, it is completely normal to be afraid of things, especially if they are new.
If your puppy is running away from their food bowl it is most likely because they don’t actually know what it is.
Dog Afraid Of New Food Bowl
If their new bowl is a different material than the last, then it is probably that your dog just doesn’t like the sound it makes and that is they’re afraid.
Why Won’t My Dog eat Out Of The Metal/Stainless Steel Food Bowl?
This is most likely for one of two reasons, firstly metal bowls are really loud, especially if they have tags on their collar that clang off of the bowl.
Secondly, metal bowls are shiny, which means the dog can see their own reflection in their food bowl.
Dogs don’t have the same logical reasoning that we do and are not really able to understand reflections, so they think it is another dog staring back at them, that’s why they are scared.
Why is My Dog Scared of the Plastic Bowl?
This is often more difficult to determine, as plastic bowls usually aren’t all that loud and are not reflective in any way.
It is most likely because of the shape, if they don’t recognise the shape they may think that it’s something dangerous.
Dog Stares At Food Bowl Afraid Of Reflection In Food Bowl
If your dog likes to stare at their reflection in their food bowl it is probably because they are trying to work out what it is.
A lot of dogs may think that their reflection is another dog but if your dog is very smart, it may work out that that isn’t quite what’s going on.
So even though they don’t actually know that it’s a reflection, they know it’s not another dog, so their staring is just them trying to figure it out.
Dog Barks At Food Bowl/Old Dog Suddenly Afraid Of Food Bowl And Barking At It
When dogs get old, one of the first things that start to happen is that their senses get weaker, such as their sight and smell.
This will often make them suddenly unsure of what’s around them and more afraid.
If your old dog is suddenly afraid, they are just trying to get used to a new world they have found themselves in because they can’t rely on their senses.
Be patient and kind, with your help they’ll be back to understanding in no time!
Dog Afraid Of The Noise That Food Bowl Makes
We have talked about noise being a reason that your dog may be afraid of their food bowl, but we haven’t talked about why it makes them afraid.
Strange noises make dogs afraid because when they were out in the wild, they always had to be alert for strange noises as they indicated that predators were nearby.
Even though dogs are now domesticated, they still have this primal fear ingrained in them.
Dog Afraid Of Automatic Food dispenser
If dogs can be afraid of their own reflection, imagine how strange these mysterious machines would be for them.
When we see the dispensers, we know what they do and how they work, dogs have absolutely no idea!
Like most creatures, dogs are afraid of the unknown. Give them a little bit of time and care so they can understand them and I’m sure your dog will come around to food dispensers.
Why Is My Rescue Dog Is Afraid Of The Food Bowl
The sad thing with rescue dogs is that most of their fears come from some sort of neglect or abuse.
If your rescue dog is afraid of their food bowl it is quite likely that they were hit with their food bowl in the past.
It is also possible that they were fed very little if at all, so they may not know what a food bowl is.
How Do I Get My Dog To eat From A New Food Bowl?
Start by introducing them to it slowly, let them sniff and get a sense of what it is before even trying to feed them from it.
Next, give them a few treats near the food bowl, so they can start to associate the bowl with food.
After that, put a few of their treats in the food bowl to let them eat out of it.
Then finally give them their first meal in the new food bowl. Make sure that the first meal is something very yummy, like chicken or some cheese.
Dog bobbing head around food bowl
Usually, if you notice your dog doing something you think is strange every time they eat, it’s just their own little routine.
Sometimes dogs, just like people will pick up little habits that they carry with them, in this case, head bobbing is like a little food ritual for them.
This is nothing to be concerned about, just a quirky little feature of your dog!
Dog dances around food bowl
This is a little happy dance! If you find your dog dancing around their food bowl it is most likely because they are really happy and excited to be fed.
If this is getting to be annoying because they get under your feet and can cause you to stumble, you can train them out of it by teaching them to sit before you give them their food.
Why does my dog lay by his food bowl
If your dog always lays by their food bowl it is probably their way of trying to hint to you that they want more food, be sure to check their portion sizes but otherwise, just ignore their begging.
There is also of course the chance that they are laying by their food bowl just because that happens to be a comfortable stop to lay.
What Can I Do To Make My Dog Not Afraid Of The Food Bowl?
Having a dog that is afraid of their own food dish is certainly not an ideal situation, here are some options to help with this problem:
- Dampen the sound of their food bowl. – To do this trying taking off your dog’s collar so they don’t slap against the edge of the bowl. You can also try buying a rubber mat for the bowl to sit on to reduce sound.
- Give them a plastic bowl. – Giving them a plastic bowl that isn’t as shiny will mean that they don’t see their reflection in it anymore, which will definitely help with fear surrounding the food bowl
- Introduce them slowly. – This is especially important if it’s a food dispenser that you’re trying to get them used to as opposed to a regular food dish. Let them get used to it slowly over time instead of all at once.
- Clean their dish regularly. – Dogs have a very strong sense of smell and if their food bowl isn’t washed properly or regularly enough, it can start to smell like rotten food. To avoid this, wash their bowl after every meal with mild soap and warm water.
- Help them enjoy their food again. – You can do this by hand-feeding them their meals for a few days so they feel safer and then start them back eating from a dish with really yummy food (healthy leftovers work great for this)
- Take them to the vet. – If all else fails it could be that your dog has an allergy or other reaction to their food, bring them for a visit to the vet to get to the bottom of their fear.
How To Stop My Dog From Playing In Food Bowl?
If your dog is doing things like digging in their food bowl or other play behaviours, you can simply lift up the dog’s food bowl out of their reach whenever they start doing it.
You can set it down when they have calmed and repeat until your dog knows not to play with their food.
why does my dog dump his food bowl over?
Your dog most likely dumps their food out because they don’t like their food dish or find it inconvenient to eat out of.
It can also be them wanting to ‘forage’ for food.
How To Stop Dog From Dumping Splashing Food out From His Food Bowl?
This can be solved with either a bigger heavier bowl that they don’t want to/ can’t knock over or getting a slow feed bowl to satiate their foraging instinct.
Why Do Dogs eat A Lot Of Food All Of A Sudden?
If you have a female dog, this could be a sign that she is expecting a litter of pups, or it could be your dog bulking up for the winter season.
Outside of those, eating a lot can be a sign of depression in dogs, be sure to bring them for a vet check-up just to be safe.
Should Dogs Have Access To Food At Night?
Dogs are diurnal (meaning awake during the day and sleeping at night) so there is no reason why they should be fed at night, although it’s not going to be harmful if they do eat at night.
The only reason why I would suggest not to feed them at night is that you might mess up their natural sleep cycle.